How Exactly Is Social Media Changing the Future of Politics in the United States?

Social media is currently influencing all aspects of the lives of human beings. Social networks have already had significant impacts on the lives of humans in social and economic aspects. There is an increased probability that social platforms will soon have impacts on the political aspect. Here are some of the ways through which social media is changing the future of United States politics.

Unfiltered Speech
Traditionally, individuals have only been able to get the formal speech from politicians which is highly edited. This means that people will never get the actual and real picture of the original speech. However, everything is changing, and people are accessing unfiltered speech. This can easily be seen through President Donald Trump who tends communicating what is in his mind through the social platforms.

Reducing Cost of Political Campaigns
Political campaigns in the United States are sometimes very costly, especially when a politician has to travel across the country seeking for votes. It is common for presidential candidates to raise political campaign funds. However, social media platforms are providing a platform where politicians can reach all the country with a free Facebook post. Others are marketing and communicating their manifestos through free YouTube posts and Twitter among others.

Customized Political Messages
For a long period, politicians have been finding it difficult to deliver a customized message because of the mixed demographics in the cities. However, this is changing fast as social media analytics have helped a larger number of politicians to reach a particular group of voters. For example, most of the individuals using social media in the United States are people below 30 years. A political message can be customized for them in a simple and effective method.

Politicians can easily get feedback from their constituents. A political message posted on social platforms will attract a considerable number of responses. United States politicians can read through the response messages and respond appropriately, which will allow easy transfer of information between voters and politicians.

Weighing Public Opinion
Public opinion is an essential aspect of the United States political field. Most of the politicians use consultants to conduct opinion so that they can determine how constituents are responding to their issues of controversy or political messages. Messages can be adjusted in real time if public opinion highlights negative perception from the public.

from Yuri Vanetik Politics


What Does The Future Of Politics Look Like Through Millennials’ Standpoint?

The world that millennials grow old in will likely be a far cry from that experienced by their parents. Some external issues like the rise of the gig economy, the threat of climate change, and the difficult situation of occupational automation mean that they’ll be forced to come to grips with some seismic changes. But what worries the next generation of politicians is how little millennials seem engaged with politics. This is in large part due to a growing sense of cynicism within this generational group. There’s a growing understanding that politicians of all stripes don’t represent their interests, but that doesn’t mean that millennials will necessarily be disengaged with the political process. It could instead signify some rather seismic shifts in attitudes towards long-standing political traditions.

Massachusetts state senator Eric P. Lesser graduated college in 2007 and was first elected into office at the young age of 29. He believes that makes him uniquely qualified to speak about millennial attitudes towards politics, and he thinks the jaded philosophies and myriad stresses of millennials could cause them to turn away from aging but experienced political figures and put their support behind younger politicians who have yet to become compromised by the system.

“As a young person right now, you are perfectly poised to make that argument that you are not part of that entrenched structure that got us in the mess we’re in,” said Lesser.

But that increasing sense of isolation that millennials feel towards older politicians could fundamentally come to alter the very notion of political parties as well. Campaign chair Eloise T. Kaehny has worked closely with students to improve voter participation among younger citizens, and she foresees a wave of philosophy that puts issues above party. Where “Republican” and “Democrat” could once be used as steady identifiers for an individual’s political orientation, she believes that voters today will be focusing instead on a more issues-driven approach to party participation. This could, in turn, result in more engagement on a local and grassroots level as they focus more energy on engaging issues that directly impact their communities.

Both Kaehny and Lesser were speakers at “Millennials and the Future of American Politics,” a panel held by the Harvard Institute of Politics focused on millennial issues. And while the panelists may have come from different backgrounds, the mood was largely optimistic. The understanding was largely one that millennials aren’t disengaged from politics but are instead just engaging in new ways.

from Yuri Vanetik Politics

How Does Philanthropy Affect Climate Change?

The potential consequences of climate change are dire and looking more challenging with each year that passes. While moves are being made in the international political community to rein in consumption and slow down the threat of climate change, that’s likely not going to be enough to prevent drastic change in the coming decades. Fortunately, many private citizens are stepping up to bat, and their philanthropic efforts could help make a difficult transition smoother.

In many ways, philanthropy is a more versatile tool to combat climate change than politics. Where politicians are beholden to lobbyists, ally nations, and the whims of their constituents regarding the laws and provisions they can pass, philanthropists are free to act in a manner driven solely by their own consciences. But it’s important for such philanthropists to take a clear and nuanced approach to their giving. Understanding where exactly their money is going can mean a big difference in how effectively it’s used.

A big benefit to philanthropists can be working in conjunction with other charitable givers. Groups like the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network serve as a de facto forum for groups organized around climate change, and their directory of charitable groups exists with the primary function of helping philanthropists work in conjunction with one another towards achieving larger and more tangible goals.

Regardless of how philanthropists organize, one of the largest threats they’ll have to tackle is public apathy towards the issue of environmental issues. While the Paris Agreement has signaled a shift towards UN member nations addressing these issues directly, some believe that these commitments won’t be enough. America’s withdrawal from the Treaty could sabotage the effectiveness of commitments altogether. Additionally, some nations are failing to address climate change issues that some scientists deem highly critical, such as when the Australian government rejected a pledge to phase out coal power by the year 2050.

In many places, this governmental antipathy is reflected in the larger population. Roughly half of all Americans believe that climate change won’t affect them, and without the public backing for climate change policies that will undoubtedly be incredibly costly, government action is bound to be slow. Philanthropy’s most important role regarding climate change issues may ultimately come down to messaging, projecting the concerns upheld by the scientific community so loudly that governments and corporations have no choice but to respond actively and effectively.

from Yuri Vanetik Philanthropy

How Is Augmented Reality Being Used For Education?

Augmented reality and virtual reality are two up and coming technologies that are showing enormous prospects in the world of education. The difference between augmented reality and virtual reality is that virtual reality generally requires goggles or some type of headset that allows you to essentially immerse yourself entirely in a different reality. For instance, you might run a program that would “virtually” place you in the Louvre Museum and allow you to walk around and explore.

The problem, of course, is that you are wearing a headset, which means you are no longer aware of what is happening in the physical space you are in. That leaves you open to the potential for running into walls or even more serious catastrophes. Augmented reality, however, is essentially an overlay on a digital screen that can interact with reality. For instance, imagine a child was taking a tour of the Louvre. A digital docent could guide them on a personal tour and answer their questions individually.

Augmented reality can help make learning more fun and interactive by combining digital knowledge bases with real work interaction. In addition to making subjects like history and geography almost literally come alive, augmented reality can also help teach more concrete skills like coding or playing the piano. Imagine being able to hold your phone up to a piano keyboard and watch a set of hands play across the keys. Not only could a child learn which keys to press to make certain sounds, but they can also get a sense of more advanced technique and style.

Imagine taking a trip to Mount Rushmore and being able to have a virtual conversation with Teddy Roosevelt or Abraham Lincoln. Imagine a virtual art teacher that can not only guide you in learning how to draw certain objects but critique your work and help you improve. While augmented reality is still largely in its infancy, there is no doubt that it holds exciting prospects for the education of the future.

Perhaps the best part of augmented reality is that it can be accessed at any time and from anywhere. It also can create a personal and individualized learning experience for every student. No more teachers being overwhelmed by questions from 20-30 students or tour guides unable to answer each child’s question personally and individually.

from Yuri Vanetik Philanthropy

How To Have The Biggest Impact In Philanthropy

Good intentions don’t automatically result in a positive impact. When it comes to seeing real social change, funders need to take a front row seat and get involved in the action. The goal of philanthropy is to make a difference. Sitting around and idealizing about tactics and solutions does not automatically produce the changes most philanthropists desire to see.

How can foundations begin to see the positive impact and productivity they are striving for? These are some simple and realistic ways to begin:

Get to Action
Foundations want to see improvements. They’re in the business of philanthropy because they want to make a change in the world around them. It’s not necessary to roll-out a perfected plan before executing it. Foundations can begin by brainstorming and strategizing, but it’s important to consider getting to action as soon as possible. Working out every loophole and deficiency in the proposal doesn’t need to be complete before lives are benefited.

Foundations who take the time to self-evaluate can affect a culture change. It’s never too late for an organization to take a step back and ask themselves what they think about how goals are being accomplished. If an idea has backfired or is simply going nowhere, it’s a great time to ask questions. “What vision are we working towards in this task?” and “How would we like to see this accomplished?” are great questions to start with.

Pinpoint Barriers
It’s likely that a foundation can pinpoint tasks that are time wasters and barriers to accomplishing their mission. This is another dimension of the foundation’s self-evaluation. When time-wasting tasks and barriers to the vision of a project are discovered, they should be cut loose. Refocusing on the vision and reducing distractions is vital.

Be Encouraged
Philanthropy is the business of doing good in the world. Ideals of how things should be or how change can be achieved don’t always happen the way they’ve envisioned. Organizations working towards social change should look for ways to celebrate each fresh idea and every small success.

There is much to be done, and there are many avenues to success. Foundations should start small and find ways to make change fun!

from Yuri Vanetik Philanthropy

How is Social Media Helping to Increase Charitable Giving?

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation collaborated with Facebook to run a psychological experiment of how social media can enhance charitable activities. The two organizations joined forces in November 2017. According to the experiment report, the nonprofit gave out a maximum of $2 million to match donors who donated to nonprofits using social media on Giving Tuesday.

Facebook decided to promote the whole exercise by sharing the opportunity in time for its News Feed and in-platform advertisement. The social network also engaged in coaching charity page admins on how to easily and quickly create their effective fundraisers.

After tracking the results, Facebook released a report recently that indicated that on a single day, 475,000 donors gave $45 million to about 46,000 nonprofit organizations. Surprisingly, 75% of those that donated were noticed to be first-time donors on the forum. Also, about 20% of the donors were found to have given their donations again to the same organization or another one within a short period of the charitable event.

The statistics from the report showed the effectiveness of smart online fundraising, particularly for small size and mid-size organizations that provide services with tight budgets. These nonprofits require creativity in looking for monies to fund their budgets. Therefore, the nonprofits can benefit from digital fundraising.

A company that participates in charitable activities portray good humanity while showing brand loyalty. Facebook enabled Giving Tuesday digital fundraising in a variety of ways such as allows nonprofits to come up with their unique shareable fundraisers. The platform also enabled the organizations to opt to add “Donate Now” buttons to their page profiles. However, the technique that worked the most was that of encouraging individuals to create campaigns for organizations themselves.

According to the report, individual fundraisers collected over $31 million collectively. On the other hand, groups that started their campaigns or added the “donate now” button on their platform pages achieved an estimated $12 million total contributions. The rest of the donations went to the individual birthday fundraisers that were by coincidence hosted during the event.

It was noticed that the power of social media and hashtags enabled even the individuals that had not donated before to participate in this event. The digital fundraising strategy was considered motivating and easy to network with as many donors as possible.

from Yuri Vanetik Philanthropy

What Is Socialism, And How Does It Relate To Capitalism?

With more avowedly socialist candidates gaining traction in mainstream U.S. election and socialism’s favorability generally ascendant, especially among Millennials, it is worth noting exactly what is meant by the word socialism. Far from being straightforward, like most political ideologies, various schools of socialism have evolved in various places and times. Although there are literally as many variants on the theme as there are governments that, at one time or another, have implemented policies that could be described as socialist, there are still a few main schools of thought and essential features that distinguish this political ideology from its more capitalist-oriented counterparts.

What is the essence of socialism?
At its core, socialism is an economic arrangement where the people or the state that represents them own the means of production. What exactly constitutes ownership can take a wide variety of forms, depending on who you talk to. In the end, you will find those who believe that no Americans own their own homes because they are required to pay property taxes. At the other extreme, you have people who insist that only a command economy, like the kind that was seen in the Soviet Union, represents true state ownership of a business.

But from a capitalist perspective, it can be said that there are two key characteristics of socialism that are absent in pure capitalist systems. The first is that for a system to be socialist there must be some redistribution of wealth. The second is that there must be the threat or use of state violence to effect this redistribution.

While far from being a purely socialist system, this means that the United States itself has been a partially socialist state since at least the introduction of the Social Security system in the 1940s. This is because the Social Security system was introduced as a means for redistributing wealth from current taxpayers to those who were no longer in a position to earn sufficient money for decent survival. Unfortunately, the Social Security system also fulfills the criteria of threatened state violence for enforcement because its revenues are taken from FICO tax, a form of income tax. Failure to pay this tax will eventually lead to the authorities placing the tax evader under arrest, by force of arms if necessary.

Therefore, socialism, in the broadest sense, can be seen as any redistributive system that affects its ends through the use of state violence.

from Yuri Vanetik Politics